Maqam Hijaz


Δημήτρης Κουμπαρούλης, Administrator
Staff member
In this page we read that in the Sephardic Middle Eastern Jewish tradition

Maqam Hijaz, which is named after a region in Saudi Arabia, is used to mark solemn occasions. When there is a death in the parasha (Sarah and Abraham in Chayei Sarah, Jacob and Joseph in Vayechi, or Nadab and Abihu in Acharei Mot), or a tragic episode (Golden Calf in Ki Tissa, Sin of the Spies in Shelach Lecha and the Temple's Destruction in the week of Devarim), then this maqam is applied. At funerals, this maqam is usually applied.

This is similar to Byzantine composers using Plagal Second mode (a Hijaz equivalent) to chant about solemn and sorrowful events and ideas.